The great comet of 1577. For centuries, comets have inspired awe and wonder. Many ancient civilisations saw them as portents of death and disaster, omens of great social and political upheavals. Shrouded in thin, luminous veils with tails streaming behind them, these 'long-haired stars' were given the name 'comets' by the ancient Greeks (the Greek word kome meant 'hair').
A new study of Aboriginal astronomy has found that Australia's first people viewed comets as portents of doom. Aboriginal societies typically associated comets with fear, death, omens of sickness, malevolent spirits and evil magic, which is consistent with many other cultures around the world."
These are 10 of the 50 literary benches that the National Literary Trust and Wild in Art have put up all over London to celebrate reading.
The world’s oldest individual tree lives 10,000 feet above sea level in the Inyo National Forest, California. A staggering 4,765 years old, this primeval tree was already a century old when the first pyramid was built in Egypt. The tree is hidden among other millennia-old Great Basin bristlecone pines in a grove called the Forest of Ancients. To protect the tree from vandalism, the forest service keeps its exact location secret, but this one looks like it could be Methuselah.